Review by Rogue_Agent
While it's just a set of challenge maps, it's definitely a DLC not to be missed.
So, about seven years ago, the beginning of the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham series was released, starting with Arkham Asylum, which would later go on to win Game of the Year, becoming an excellent example of what a fantastic video game based on a comic book should be. The game had a handful of DLCs, and all of them were Challenge Map Packs. The one that absolutely stood out the most was the "Play As The Joker Challenge Map Pack", which allows you to take control of The Clown Prince of Crime, and try to escape the clutches of the Arkham Asylum guards in combat maps with as much points as possible, and get past them in Predator Maps as quickly as possible. Despite it being very short, it's a blast to play and a very memorable DLC.
The Game Play
Much like Batman's maps, you are able to take the role of Arkham's Most Wanted and cause some mayhem within the Asylum during The Joker's escape. There are two types of challenges, the first being combat, in which the player tries to see how large of a score that can be built while racking up combos against four waves of enemies. The second type of challenge is Predator, in which you must sneak around and deal with the enemies as quickly as possible, or trying to elaborately plan out an attack for a safer approach.
A notable difference is that there are no longer three medals that can be earned for each challenge, so the main goal is to see how high you can rank on the leader boards. Another thing is the differences between Batman and The Joker. The Joker has his own set of gadgets, recorded lines, and animations made specifically for this pack. One is the replacement for the Batarang, his gun. This specific gun only has one bullet per wave in combat, and one shot period in one attempt at a Predator Map. Another gadget is one set of chattering teeth, with a nice little bomb being carried by it, used to take out one or a small amount of enemies in one small explosion.
The last one is a pair of special specs, which acts as the Detective Mode of these challenges. An interesting catch is that you can only be in first person using these, and you can't move while using these, making the maps that the player once conquered as Batman even more difficult as The Joker. The Joker also is more vulnerable to damage, has less moves in combat, doesn't have the large arsenal of weapons as Batman for sneaking around, and yo cannot use Gargoyles to hide or survey the room to plan out your attack, making these maps a fresh challenge.
The Music and The Sound
The music is exactly the same as the main game's challenge maps, and so are the graphics. However, new lines were recorded specifically for The Joker, as well as lines for the Asylum guards all trying to take him down. While there's not many, they all sound fantastic.
In the end, it's not gonna last you forever. It'll take maybe a day if you aren't trying to see how high you can rank on the leader boards. But even then, it's an enormous blast to play, and considering the game as of this moment is free for download, I'd absolutely recommend any fan of the main game to check this out.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Batman: Arkham Asylum - Play As The Joker Challenge Map (US, 08/21/09)
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